On Friday, Major League Baseball decided to move its All-Star Game in response to new voter legislation in Georgia. After MLB commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement that "fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," there has been a fair amount of support and backlash alike.
As the dust settles from a politically charged day among baseball fans on social media, players and managers alike are facing questions about how they feel about MLB's decision. Though Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward emphasized he didn't want to give his full personal opinion, he didn't exactly shy away from giving a clear answer either.
"It's a tough one," Woodward said in his Saturday pregame Zoom call. "I'm not going to give my personal opinion. Politics is a tough one to jump into. I respect the opinion to do it. The only thing I will say is I do believe in equal voting rights. I haven't read through the entire voting law. I read through a little bit of it. There are some things that are, you know, a little concerning. But I do respect MLB for coming out and making a stand, honestly.
"I'm not going to give my full personal opinion on it. I don't think it's the right time and place, as far as politics go. But I respect Manfred for doing what he did."
Any time sports and politics mix, there is sure to be a rather polarizing response from both sides of the political spectrum. The decision to move the All-Star Game is by no means a small ordeal. There is a great amount of preparation done by the hosting club and city to host such a large event, which includes the Home Run Derby, the Futures Game and, as of this year, the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Moving the All-Star Game just a few months ahead of time shows MLB's conviction behind the decision — a decision at least understood by Chris Woodward.
Promo photo: Kelly Gavin / Courtesy of the Texas Rangers